Energy Networks Association (ENA) has today introduced a new tool to help flexibility providers follow a clear, common and more accurate approach for measuring how much flexibility they have delivered to Britain’s distribution network operators (DNOs).
The tool, designed by ENA’s Open Networks programme and the TRANSITION project led by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution, has been developed by specialist energy consultancy TNEI. It will be used by flexibility providers to explore and determine their baseline calculations for participating in flexibility markets. A baseline is required to allow ongoing understanding and verification of the volume of flexibility services provided.
Two years in the making, the new flexibility baseline verification tool has been created to be enduring and under open governance arrangements. Available via ENA’s website, benefits of the tool include:
- A standard and consistent decision-making process across all DNO’s. This means that those wishing to provide flexibility services to the networks know exactly what criteria will be used to assess their delivery no matter the location.
- More transparency, with DNOs and flexibility providers being able to better validate how much flexibility is being provided.
- More competitive outcomes through a more accountable and transparent approach, with customers ultimately benefitting from more cost-efficient solutions.
- Increased stakeholder confidence, as delivery into the distribution flexibility market and visibility of any potential earnings will be consistent and easier to assess.
- Increased participation, by removing barriers and developing a clear and adoptable common approach it will be easier for providers to engage with flexibility services.
This work is crucial to providing confidence to energy industry stakeholders in the future commercial viability of flexibility services, which will accelerate the transition to a smart, flexible energy system.
Farina Farrier, Head of Open Networks at Energy Networks Association said:
“Since it’s conception in 2017, Open Networks has followed a learn-by-doing approach and is open with the way we work and the outputs we publish. The launch of this tool – working alongside the OFGEM Innovation Funded TRANSITION project – demonstrates another step forward in this vital industry collaboration to help us deliver practical outcomes.
"Opening local markets for flexibility services remains a major focus of the programme, as a smarter, more flexible energy system is fundamental to reaching the government’s decarbonisation goals – starting with delivering a common framework for flexibility by March 2023.”
Melanie Bryce, SSEN Oxfordshire Projects Director said:
“SSEN has been developing the baselining flexibility verification tool through the TRANSITION project working together with TNEI for two years. I am proud to see their hard work being recognised by the adoption and launch of this tool by ENA’s Open Networks programme.
“Our work engaging with service providers through the overarching LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire) Project has emphasised the need for an aligned and standardised approach to flexibility markets and the tools that support them. TRANSITION’s collaboration with Open Networks has allowed us to bring together expertise from across the country to ensure the benefits of this common tool are realised by all potential users”.
Stephanie Hay, Director of Networks and Innovation at TNEI comments:
“The development of the Flexibility Baselining tool is a crucial step for industry and the future provision of flexibility services.
“At TNEI our mission statement is to lead the energy industry into a low carbon future and I think this tool encapsulates that mission perfectly. The team have been working closely with ENA and the TRANSITION project for a number of years now and it’s wonderful to see all of their hard work turn into something the whole industry can benefit from.”
A workshop webinar, which will include a practical run through of the new tool alongside an opportunity for Q&As, will be held on 20 April at 2pm. Find out more on ENA’s events page.
Notes to editors
- All resources associated to the baseline verification tool are available on ENA’s website.
- 2022 marks five years of collaboration across Britain’s energy networks and the wider energy sector – through ENA's Open Networks programme – in delivering transformational change to a smarter, more flexible energy system in the UK. Find out more through the newly launched 'Five Years ON' online hub.
- TRANSITION is a five-year Ofgem NIC funded innovation project, and the first NIC project where two DNOs (SSEN and ENWL) have partnered.
- TNEI is an independent specialist energy consultancy providing technical, strategic, environmental and consenting advice to organisation’s operating within the conventional and renewable energy sectors.
- In line with the programme’s approach and working alongside SSEN, TNEI has taken a collaborative, transparent approach in creating the required implementable algorithms for calculating baselines. These algorithms form the engine behind the tool and this engine is openly available to DNOs – which can also be used with other processes to support the efficient operation of flexibility markets. An ambition of the programme is that a fully open version of these algorithms will be available in future.
- Flexibility services are increasingly becoming an important tool used by distribution network operators (DNOs) to support and manage their networks. A service provider, following a request from the DNO, temporarily increases their generation or demand for electricity (up or down) to support their local network. This approach to network management brings various benefits – environmental, commercial and increased network reliability.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).
Energy supplier or network operator? Energy network operators are entirely separate to your energy supplier, which is the company that bills you for using electricity and gas. Energy suppliers and generators are represented by Energy UK.